Sandi Toksvig: Introducing humanism, non-religious approaches to life


We live in an increasingly pluralistic world. We are surrounded by a diversity of beliefs. Today, an increasing number of people are
not religious. Many believe that the universe is a natural
phenomenon with no supernatural side. They believe that this is the one life we
have. And they want to lead ethical, meaningful,
and fulfilling lives. People like humanists. Humanism is a way of realising that if we
only have one life, if we’re only here once, that actually that leads to a lot of inspiring
answers about how we should behave and how we should spend our time. For me, humanism is sort of… atheism plus? I think for me, humanism is a worldview whereby
you’re sceptical, rational, and you try to incorporate moral thinking into everything
you do. I’m Sandi Toksvig. I’m a humanist, and
I’m a patron of Humanists UK. I’m fascinated by life’s big questions. Questions like:
‘How should I live?’, ‘How can I know what is true?’,
‘How should I treat others?’, and ‘What kind of world do I want?’ I think it’s vital everyone gets the opportunity
to explore different approaches to these questions, but also that we have the freedom to decide
on the answers for ourselves. Everyone’s going to have a different answer
to the question “what makes a good life?” I think it’s really freeing – because I think
you don’t have to follow what any authority tells you- you can work things out for yourself,
you can take responsibility for the views that you have – – and I think that freedom of thinking, that
sort of free-thinking, I really like that, and I think that’s part and parcel of humanism. There is widespread misunderstanding about
what it means to be a humanist, or to live a life without religion. During this course, we’ll provide you with
a deeper understanding of the humanist approach to life and of how humanists answer life’s
big questions. We’ll explore the tensions and dilemmas
contained within a humanist view, as well as the arguments against it, and the responses
humanists give to those arguments. You’ll find contributions from academics,
humanist campaigners, celebrants, pastoral carers, and members of the public to help
widen your awareness of what it means to be one of the millions of humanists living in
the UK and around the world today. You have to care about the world, and the
people in it – you have to be excited by it! You have to want to contribute. It’s a way for me to express what I am rather
than what I’m not, its a promotion of equality and celebrating diversity, and celebrating
all the richness of life, really. I mean, I think, as human beings, we have
everything within ourselves and amongst each other, to really make something beautiful out of
life. It should also allow you the opportunity to
reflect on life’s bigger questions for yourself. ‘Introducing humanism: non-religious approaches
to life’. Join us for a conversation about the best
way to live.

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